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Police officer helps prevent major fire  

A Shippensburg University police officer put her training to good use when she recently extinguished a potentially dangerous fire while on her way to work.

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Officer Heather Bradnick did not expect to be a hero Sept. 8, but that did not stop her from acting like one as she drove to work that afternoon. After seeing an alarming amount of smoke coming from the Fairfield Inn near Chambersburg, Bradnick stopped to check it out.

When she arrived, she saw flames spreading throughout the shrubbery and mulch against the side of the building and underneath 1,000-gallon propane tanks. Bradnick, using her experience as a volunteer firefighter, found a garden hose to fight the fire and alerted hotel staff to evacuate the building. Turning her attention to the hazardous propane tanks, Bradnick kept the tanks cool until firefighters arrived on the scene.

Bradnick says the fire was started in a cigarette butt holder and spread to the nearby trashcan. “I was just thinking ‘just try to get the fire out,’” said Bradnick. “If any fire got into that building, it could have been really bad.”

Bradnick is a volunteer firefighter with the New Franklin Volunteer Fire Department, which also was the department that responded to the fire. After her department colleagues arrived, Bradnick continued to assist as the fire was extinguished.

Bradnick has been an officer at the university since 2002.